This time last year, I contacted the local CPL to talk about adopting a cat from their rescue centre. The first person I talked to was very positive and fluffy and didn't seem to think that my younger DS (then just 1) was a problem. When I spoke to the far more stern person at the branch, we talked about making the house safe for a while and then she asked me if I had any children. When she heard that my younger one was a toddler she practically laughed down the phone at me. She made it clear that the local CPL wouldn't consider a house with a 1 yo as a suitable home for one of their cats.
Now I have a 5 yo and a just-2 yo. The 5 yo loves cats and still misses our lovely old cat who died when he was 2 (yes, he still remembers her and has only recently stopped speaking about her in the present tense. ). The little one has no up-close experience of cats (he loves to see them, though). We can cat-proof the kitchen as discussed a year ago (there's a little gap between the oven and the adjacent unit) but realistically, what chance do we have with a rehoming rescue cat charity? Do they tend to have blanket bans on rehoming cats with toddlers? My older son obviously grew up as a baby with our cat and always respected her (I made sure he did!), and though this is different, I'm sure I can teach our 2 yo to be gentle and not harass a cat. (We'd prefer a young cat, btw. Probably not a kitten but a teenager?)
I was laughed at by our local rescue last year; my youngest was 2 1/2 and I made the mistake I think of telling them we lost our old cat on the road I ended up asking around and just found a couple of kittens from a friend of a friend - to be honest, they also needed a home and I do like to see where they came from. They had been born in a house with 4 kids, 3 dogs, 2 older cats and various rabbits/turtles/stuff about. They are bombproof and great family animals. (When I wa a kid we had a kitten from a quiet old lady and it was a neurotic mess.) <unhelpful, sorry> <oh just spotted who i am replying to! Hello!>
We have 3 cats. We got one from the CPL when our children were 2 and 3 and then we got another 2 when the children were 3 and 4. One lady was really snippy with us but another one was lovely. It maybe helped that we have always had cats from there before we had children. I know they have to look after the cats' welfare but it's not fair to be so rude about it. Our cats love our children and the children adore the cats. My daughter adores them a little bit too much and carries them around all over the place.
I don't know about the CPL but the charity I'm with (London only) certainly doesn't have a blanket ban. We wouldn't home a kitten to a family with young children (a while ago I had to pick up a dead kitten that had had its neck broken by a toddler), but would recommend an adult cat that had shown itself to be confident and laid back and therefore reasonably able to cope with young children.
Thanks, that makes me feel a bit more confident! Surely some cats needing rehoming must come from homes where there were young children, and be used to them?
Catneuterer, I think you said on another thread you were with Celia Hammond? A friend of mine (on here) has just adopted an entire family from that shelter. I have serious kitten envy ... but in fact, I don't think a kitten is a great idea with my boys. I know it's rare, but I've also heard of cases where a toddler has unintentionally maimed a kitten. I'd feel safer if the cat were more robust and able to fight back.
Mumsnet can really be a village sometimes - I post a random query on a board I've never been on before, and the first two people to reply are people I know, or 'know'. (BBB helloooo! You were very lucky to get your kittens, I've been asking around for young cats and no luck. CMOT, you won't recognise me in this name but you once very kindly dropped an Ikea highchair tray off at my house. )
Yes I'm from Celia Hammond's and, if you're from either of our catchment areas, you could certainly get cats from us. They wouldn't be young kittens though but probably from six months upwards. It's generally a better idea to get properly adult cats as then their personalities will have developed and we can tell if they'll do well with children or not.
We got our lovely Mia from CPL when dd3 was 2. They were happy to rehome some of their cats with young children, some with older children and some with adults only. We have always taught dds to be gentle and respectful with cats and Mia was about 10 months old, had lived as a stray for a bit and had kittens. She is very interested in people and very affectionate. Perfect cat for a family with children.